A Cost Containment Strategy
With more and more resources available in the cloud, it’s easy to lose track of your costs and handicap the whole project with an unexpected bill that shuts the whole thing down.
MediaTemple & CloudTweaks Thought Leadership Brand Series
The migration to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud had gone better than Rebecca had hoped. Everywhere she looked in the company, she could see employees, who she thought were going to be reluctant, using the new shared cloud spaces and coming up with new ways of using the cloud. It was all very exciting, and she was already imagining new and impactful projects the company could undertake.
But what Rebecca didn’t realize was that the surge in data now used in the cloud, and the new resources she was enabling, came at a cost, and that the bill arriving at the end of the month was going to be very different to what she had been expecting.
Many of us have setup cloud systems without a long-term cost optimization strategy to control spending. It can be a shock, particularly when many only know of the cloud as a cheaper way of running IT.
“To optimize costs, you must understand your business goals and how they are supported by the cloud-based solutions you select for your organization,” said Frank Suglia, BitTitan’s director of technical sales and MSP-in-residence. “If you implement a cloud solution without explicit requirements, you’ll end up paying for capabilities that you don’t need, and this can significantly escalate costs.”
Cost is always a key concern through the lifecycle of a project, but particularly in the earliest stages of a cloud migration. You may still be questioning the value of such a deep transformation in your organization, and if your costs are unexpectedly high or unpredictable, any negative setback supports the position of critics and naysayers, who preferred the status quo.
Make Cost Optimization Part of Your Earliest Planning
If you’re responsible for your company’s cloud computing strategy, then your first priority is to optimize the investment. Growth and success will put that investment under pressure, and you need to be ready for it.
By making sure that you’re accounting for expensive on-demand rates, poorly configured servers, and unused resources that you’re still paying for, you can prevent money being wasted that could otherwise be spent on more worthwhile activities or services.
You can’t save on costs that you don’t know you’re paying. Every company needs is a clear understanding on how much they’re paying for, and what cloud resources they are getting for that cost. That should be followed up by informed recommendations that suggest more cost- effective ways of doing things and setting up your cloud systems.
Vital Features of An Optimized System
There are many different ways for you to get the most out of AWS. No two configurations are identical, but whether you’re an artist with your own portfolio, an agency managing multiple clients, or a large corporation, your cloud configuration should feature the kinds of features that empower you to manage your spending carefully.
These could include:
- Cost allocation, spend optimization, invoicing, and chargebacks.
- Custom reports and alerts ensure governance and accountability as environments scale
- Total visibility across cloud infrastructure enables protection for state and activity monitoring,
- Getting from insight to action while meeting compliance demands.
Do You Speak ‘Cloud?’
These features not only influence your costs, but dramatically improve efficiency across an organization. But you need to work with someone who understands this world. It’s easy to forget that the language and terminology of the commercial cloud barely existed ten years ago. It’s relatively specialized and can lead to misunderstandings and mistakes for newcomers. For example, people don’t intrinsically understand the term ‘reserved instances’ so they end up paying on-demand rates instead because they don’t understand the language of containing costs. That’s just one of the reasons why it makes more sense to partner with a third-party like that understands how to optimize for the cloud and what a company needs to migrate to the AWS Cloud.
While there is an additional cost that wouldn’t be there if you were to deploy to AWS on your own, time and again, we see examples of overall cost savings that are being realized through partnering with companies that speak the language of the cloud, and who have the experience to anticipate your cloud needs before you actually need it.
The cloud offers a world of increased flexibility, scalability, performance, and security. But it needs to be monitored in real-time and optimized for cost containment. Make sure your cloud hosting service offers a monthly summary of costs, and detailed usage statistics of resources across your entire AWS architecture, so that you have access to actionable intelligence that lets you right-size and scale services efficiently depending on the circumstances.
Our Media Temple Iris portal provides billing reports, usage forecasts, and detailed insights on your AWS cloud spend.
Get in touch today for a free assessment of your project.
By Jeremy Daniel
Jeremy Daniel is an author, online marketing strategist and a firm believer in the transformative power of mobile technology for emerging markets. Jeremy has written across various media platforms since 2001, from television to advertising to print, and spends most of his time in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa.